Tag Archive | glass

Back to School – Make your own Pencils!

It’s back to school time. Labor Day always marked the return to school from summer vacation when I was growing up. I was always excited to get back to school, for all the right reasons of course. You know, new school supplies, new clothes, and of course seeing my friends regularly.

So when this months topic for Ornament Thursday was announced to me, Academia, my first thought was freshly sharpened pencils. I know, I’ll make little glass pencils. Wouldn’t they make great teacher gifts?

So I set out to make some and here is my progression:

Of course, I had to choose the colors. I use Bullseye glass, so I picked, regular pink for the eraser, pumpkin for the pencil, and nougat for the tip.

I first wrapped a bit of pink around the mandrel, for the eraser:

Then, the pumpkin for the pencil. I rolled it out, smoothing it on the marver:

Then I added the tip, marvering at a angle to make it pointed:

Then I added just a bit more pumpkin to the pencil part and rolled it out all nice and smooth again. This is what it looked like right before I put it into the kiln.

And, this is the finished product, ready for glamor shots.:

Then of course they need a jewelry designer to make them into something. So what did I do? I sent them off to JoolzbyLisa. She has a post on how she transformed these little gems into adorable jewelry. Click here.

So now you have the tools on how to make pencils and I have just directed you on where to go for info to make them into jewelry gems. But, if you are not a lampworker and want pencils, go here to see some in my etsy store, or contact JoolzbyLisa for pencils made into jewelry.

Check out all the other Ornament Thursday Blogs:

Art Bead Scene & The Golden Rule
The Art Bead Scene editor shares a few words of wisdom for jewelry designers.

Check out the “homework” project from Joolz by Lisa
A collab effort works out great when you plan ahead

BeadStyle goes back to school
Lindsay Haedt’s on her way to the classroom, but not before Linda shares one of her recent designs

Beading Help Web Wires Up Academia
Lynn Kvigne to read! While you can easily use a scrap of paper or an old magazine subscription card for a bookmark, why not whip up a stylish book mark instead?

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Cindy’s learned how to Mail!

Michelle’s Edumacation
Michelle has yet another go at decorating Helen’s workstation, this month, less scary than last but oh, so funky

Swelldesigner goes crazy over school supplies!
Alexa shows you how to turn pencil grips into ultra funky accessories

First Day
Michelle’s School Book – it’s academic!

Customer gallery on the website

Hello my dear jewelry designers. As most of you know I am not a jewelry designer. I rarely, if ever make any of my beads into jewelry. I will for my mom and so I can wear a piece of my own work, but It isn’t something I get around to even when I think I want to. There are only so many hours in a day you know.

So I have decided to add a customers gallery page to my website. I have not gotten the page up, as I don’t have any pictures yet. It will likely go right under my own gallery page. What I would like to do, is get photos from you, of pieces of jewelry you have made from my beads. I would then like to link that picture back to your website, etsy store, ebay store, or where ever it is you sell you work.

So go ahead and email me Deanna @ chase-designs.com with your photo, business name and where to link it to and I’ll do the rest. 🙂

Lampworking, still a great unknown to the masses

I always have a difficult time explaining what I do to strangers. If I were to say, “I am a lampworker,” I am most likely rewarded with a confused or blank stare. Flameworker and torchworker gets pretty much the same response. If I say, I make glass beads, that doesn’t really cover it either. It gets closer, but the world at large is highly uneducated about this particular craft. So my latest explanation goes something like this: “I work with hot glass on a torch, making glass beads, mostly for jewelry designers.”

The usual response is along the lines of “Oh, you are a glass blower?”

Me: “The same idea, but we are not actually blowing glass (usually), we are making solid pieces on a much smaller scale, using a torch instead of a furnace.”

Then there are the other people. Those who are somewhat familiar with lampwork, but not beads or marbles. The latest encounter I had was just the other day. My car broke down and I had to call the tow company to get it to the shop. It was a 100 degree day and even though my house was less than a mile from the breakdown spot, the driver decided to take pity on me and give me lift. On the way we chatted about what I did for a living.

Me: “I work in glass, making beads and marbles.”

Him: “Oh, like those people on that HBO reality tv show that make glass sex toys?”

Me: “HBO has a reality TV show about sex toys?” I don’t have HBO and I never heard of that. Where have I been?

Him: “Oh ya, and they do VERY well, the owners have a yacht and host all kinds of parties promoting their toys.”

Me: “Really? huh. Ya, kinda like that but we don’t make sex toys. Though I know a few people who do.”

Him: “Ya, they go on and on about how they are the toys of choice and very durable, never wear out.”

Me: “Good to know.”

Now I am thinking, yachts? I could make sex toys, if I switched the glass I use. I even have a big enough torch. I can just see it. Someone asks my mom or dad how their daughter, the glass artist is doing. Answer, “Oh Deanna, she is very successful, you know she makes sex toys now.” Maybe not. (Not that there is anything wrong with that.)

How about the time we pulled the rv into a campground in Colorado Springs? We got into a conversation about what we did for a living while checking in for our month long stay.

Us, with the usual: “We make glass beads and marbles on a torch.”

Him: “Oh, do you make bowls? I have a friend who does.”

Us: “Oh a few times with our fusing kiln, but that isn’t what we normally make.”

Him: “I’d love to see them. There is a huge market for bowls and spoons around here.”

Us, now we get it: “Oh, we don’t make pipes. Just beads and marbles.” We have actually made a few bowls, as in a candy dish type bowl.

Him: “Oh, too bad.”

Then there was the time we traveled up to Victoria, Canada from the Olympic Peninsula. Getting through customs was kinda tricky.

Customs: “Why are you here?”

Us: “To visit friends.”

Customs: “How long?”

Us: “Overnight.”

Customs reading our Texas licence plate: “You’re a long way from home.”

Us: “Not really, we live in an RV and it is parked in Washington.”

Customs: “You live in an RV?”

Us: Nodding

Customs: “Occupation?”

Us: “Glass artists.”

Customs: “Self employeed?”

Us: “Yes.”

Customs: “Did you bring any work with you?”

Us: “Yes.”

Customs: “Pipes?”

Us: “No, we make beads and marbles.”

Customs: “Do you plan to sell any work here.”

Us: “No, just to show to our friends.” Which was true.

Customs: “Do you own a home in the states?”

Us: “No.”

Customs: “Any ties at all to anything in the states?”

Us, finally getting the picture. “Oh ya, family.”

Customs: “Okay. Pull over to the side please.”

We did and waited an hour and half while the inspectors went over the VW bus with a fine tooth comb and ran background checks on us. The agent asked to see our work, then kept asking where the pipes were. I swear he asked Greg four times. I admit, we probably looked questionable with the 71 VW bus, both of us having long hair, and the fact we were vagabond glass artists. Finally we were cleared and drove off, laughing our butts off. A sense of humor is a good thing.

So why is it called lampworking you might ask. The answer, back before they days of mixed surface oxygen torches, bead makers made beads on oil lamps, using glass that was soft enough to melt in those low temperature flames. So now you know. 🙂